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A Deeply Fractured US

Infanteer

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Executive Orders are effective on utterance. They can be challenged and overturned but until that happens the Executive Order prevails.

The President has the authority to react instantaneously to the unforeseen.

Executive orders are issued "in relation to a law passed by Congress or based on Powers granted to the President in the Constitution and must be consistent with those authorities."

So, more like working within the rules as opposed to making them.
 

Kirkhill

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Ultimately all of this pertains to POWER. That is the reason that the fights are so lengthy and bloody. Those that seek power crave that authority to act. And those that have that authority, and choose to act, leave the rest of the world following in their dust, forced to react after the fact.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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I think the greatest test to look at here is not whether the president declassified the documents "so its fine", but the political consequences of what the electors will think of the appropriateness of a former president having in his possession defence/sensitive/nuclear defence related documents he simply decided to take with him. He may not be legally responsible for documents he "declassified" but he may be politically responsible for the choice he made to have them in his possession after ceasing to be president - thus declassifying them.

I am also not so sure that the "standing order" talked about in the article ultimately "declassifies" the documents. What is described is a standing order that "deems" the documents declassified while he takes them from the West Wing to the Residence (still in the White House). They seem to "reclassify" when he is back in the Oval Office (a bit like R. K. Marroon's disappearing-reappearing ink in Who Framed Roger Rabbit). That is far from saying they are declassifed for him to take them to Mar-A-Largo after he ceased to be president without some sort of demonstrated declassification - other than him just taking them.

BTW, It may be "easy" for a president to "declassify" but the consequences under US Freedom of Information laws are tremendous: Now any one can ask to see those documents and they cannot be refused on the basis of classification - which for many of those may have been the sole ground of protection.
 

Navy_Pete

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I guess at the end of the day, even if there are no charges, it seems like it's a good thing that TS and SCI documents are back in official US goverment hands instead of sitting in a safe in a golf resort.
 

Kirkhill

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Executive orders are issued "in relation to a law passed by Congress or based on Powers granted to the President in the Constitution and must be consistent with those authorities."

So, more like working within the rules as opposed to making them.

So... he has the authority to Request Permission or Beg Forgiveness.
 

Infanteer

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It's funny how executive orders seem so devisive between Democrats and Republicans, and yet both Presidents Obama and Trump enacted about the same number of EOs. Despite Republicans stating Obama's use of EOs was a threat to democracy, Trump enacted them at twice the rate as Obama.
 

Kirkhill

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I think the greatest test to look at here is not whether the president declassified the documents "so its fine", but the political consequences of what the electors will think of the appropriateness of a former president having in his possession defence/sensitive/nuclear defence related documents he simply decided to take with him. He may not be legally responsible for documents he "declassified" but he may be politically responsible for the choice he made to have them in his possession after ceasing to be president - thus declassifying them.

I am also not so sure that the "standing order" talked about in the article ultimately "declassifies" the documents. What is described is a standing order that "deems" the documents declassified while he takes them from the West Wing to the Residence (still in the White House). They seem to "reclassify" when he is back in the Oval Office (a bit like R. K. Marroon's disappearing-reappearing ink in Who Framed Roger Rabbit). That is far from saying they are declassifed for him to take them to Mar-A-Largo after he ceased to be president without some sort of demonstrated declassification - other than him just taking them.

BTW, It may be "easy" for a president to "declassify" but the consequences under US Freedom of Information laws are tremendous: Now any one can ask to see those documents and they cannot be refused on the basis of classification - which for many of those may have been the sole ground of protection.

It is about consequences. It is also about trust. Who do you trust with Power? Authority? Do you like their decisions?

And thus elections.

Whereby the elected government can overturn the judgements of the previous government. In British tradition this is tied to the sovereignty of parliament and the notion that no government can bind its successor. For the constitutional governments of Canada and the US that is not true. But it doesn't prevent new Presidents from issuing Day One executive orders stopping the construction of walls or repealing the authority of agencies operating under the President's authority and thus voiding all regulations managed by that agency.

Executive authority and rules and regulations are far more intrusive and powerful than legislation. Legislation is always reactive. Often reacting to the powers of the executive. Except in Canada - where the executive also controls the legislature.
 

Kirkhill

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I guess at the end of the day, even if there are no charges, it seems like it's a good thing that TS and SCI documents are back in official US goverment hands instead of sitting in a safe in a golf resort.

At the end of the day, Joe Biden has the authority to swap nuclear launch codes with Vladimir Putin over the phone. If he so chooses.
 

Navy_Pete

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At the end of the day, Joe Biden has the authority to swap nuclear launch codes with Vladimir Putin over the phone. If he so chooses.
???

That's pretty random. You could simply stick to the issue at hand but okay, let's go with a theoretical and extreme what-if scenario.
 

KevinB

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It's funny how executive orders seem so devisive between Democrats and Republicans, and yet both Presidents Obama and Trump enacted about the same number of EOs. Despite Republicans stating Obama's use of EOs was a threat to democracy, Trump enacted them at twice the rate as Obama.

I’m not a fan of EO’s mainly because plenty of things get hidden by them, that aren’t conducive to democratic process, and both sides are guilty of abuse in that manner.


BTW, It may be "easy" for a president to "declassify" but the consequences under US Freedom of Information laws are tremendous: Now any one can ask to see those documents and they cannot be refused on the basis of classification - which for many of those may have been the sole ground of protection.

Items can be re-classified. The main issues are solely:
1) was their classified information retained by FPOTUS Trump ?
That seems to be a resounding yes at this point.

2) If some of that material was declassified
A) If there was Presidential power to declassify them (as noted certain aspects can’t be declassified simply by POTUS)

As I mentioned before I don’t think most of this will become public record - because generally no one cares about Secret or TS info to a significant degree, SCI however means Special Compartmentalized Information.
Special Assess Programs deal with significant aspects of National Security, and the consequences of them being released are a major issue.

TLDR; I don’t see a lot of info coming out of this.
 

Kirkhill

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It's funny how executive orders seem so devisive between Democrats and Republicans, and yet both Presidents Obama and Trump enacted about the same number of EOs. Despite Republicans stating Obama's use of EOs was a threat to democracy, Trump enacted them at twice the rate as Obama.

Donald Trump - 55 per year
Joe Biden - 46
Obama - 35
Bush II - 36

Carter - 80
Kennedy - 75
FDR - 308
Wilson - 181
Teddy Roosevelt - 145

The problem seems to have arisen with the Progressive Era (Roosevelt initiated the Progressive Party)


#PresidentPartyTotal executive ordersOrder number rangeYears in officeExecutive orders per yearPeriod
1George WashingtonUnaffiliated8unnumbered7.951.0April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
2John AdamsFederalist1unnumbered40.3March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
3Thomas JeffersonDemocratic-Republican4unnumbered80.5March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
4James MadisonDemocratic-Republican1unnumbered80.1March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
5James MonroeDemocratic-Republican1unnumbered80.1March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
6John Quincy AdamsDemocratic-Republican3unnumbered40.8March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
7Andrew JacksonDemocratic12unnumbered81.5March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
8Martin Van BurenDemocratic10unnumbered42.5March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841
9William Henry HarrisonWhig0unnumbered0.080.0March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
10John TylerWhig17unnumbered3.924.3April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845
11James K. PolkDemocratic18unnumbered44.5March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
12Zachary TaylorWhig5unnumbered1.343.7March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
13Millard FillmoreWhig12unnumbered2.664.5July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
14Franklin PierceDemocratic35unnumbered48.8March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
15James BuchananDemocratic16unnumbered44.0March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861
16Abraham LincolnRepublican48unnumbered4.1111.7March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
17Andrew JohnsonDemocratic79unnumbered3.8920.3April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
18Ulysses S. GrantRepublican217unnumbered827.1March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
19Rutherford B. HayesRepublican92unnumbered423.0March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
20James A. GarfieldRepublican6unnumbered0.5411.1March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
21Chester A. ArthurRepublican96unnumbered3.4627.7September 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885
22Grover Cleveland - IDemocratic113unnumbered428.3March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1889
23Benjamin HarrisonRepublican143unnumbered435.8March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
24Grover Cleveland - IIDemocratic140unnumbered435.0March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
25William McKinleyRepublican185unnumbered4.5340.9March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
26Theodore RooseveltRepublican1,0817.47144.7September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
27William Howard TaftRepublican7244181.0March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
28Woodrow WilsonDemocratic1,8038225.4March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921
29Warren G. HardingRepublican5222.41216.9March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
30Calvin CoolidgeRepublican1,2035.59215.2August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
31Herbert HooverRepublican9685075–60704242.0March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
32Franklin D. RooseveltDemocratic3,7286071–953712.11307.8March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
33Harry S. TrumanDemocratic9079538–104317.77116.7April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
34Dwight D. EisenhowerRepublican48410432–10913860.5January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
35John F. KennedyDemocratic21410914–111272.8475.4January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
36Lyndon B. JohnsonDemocratic32511128–114515.1662.9November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
37Richard NixonRepublican34611452–117975.5662.3January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
38Gerald FordRepublican16911798–119662.4569.1August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
39Jimmy CarterDemocratic32011967–12286480.0January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
40Ronald ReaganRepublican38112287–12667847.6January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
41George H. W. BushRepublican16612668–12833441.5January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
42Bill ClintonDemocratic36412834–13197845.5January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
43George W. BushRepublican29113198–13488836.4January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
44Barack ObamaDemocratic27613489–13764834.6January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
45Donald TrumpRepublican22013765–13984455.0January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021
46Joe BidenDemocratic9513985 and above1.5646.2January 20, 2021 – Present
 

brihard

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I'll stipulate that all that research activity will proceed.

My only comment is: Are the investigators, prosecutors and judges Democrats or Republicans?

This discussion is about the divide. Every comment I read on this, and other political threads, demonstrates that divide - those that are inclined to give the benefit of doubt to their patron and those that aren't.
The investigators and prosecutors are career staff of the FBI and Department of Justice. There is likely a variety of political views represented there, though my experience has been that the law enforcement world leans more conservative on average. At the end of the day, should criminal proceedings result, then, like any criminal proceeding, the law will have to fit the facts.
 

Kirkhill

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The investigators and prosecutors are career staff of the FBI and Department of Justice. There is likely a variety of political views represented there, though my experience has been that the law enforcement world leans more conservative on average. At the end of the day, should criminal proceedings result, then, like any criminal proceeding, the law will have to fit the facts.

"conservative" - as in tends towards supporting the status quo?

That is where things get muddied with names. I have met a lot of conservative liberals and socialists that wish to preserve their gains even as they seek more change.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I find the discussion enlightening. Especially when nobody really has a clue about what's going on yet.
 

brihard

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I find the discussion enlightening. Especially when nobody really has a clue about what's going on yet.
Why do you believe we don’t have a clue what’s going on? A lot is apparent from the execution of a search warrant that names specific offences (and doesn’t name some others) and with certain seized items listed. What we don’t have (quite rightly) is a full picture (nor should we at this stage), nor do we know what will come of it. But let’s not pretend that no meaning can be confidently gleaned by what’s happened and what information has been released so far. The workings of this system aren’t particularly mysterious, they’re just kinda technical.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Why do you believe we don’t have a clue what’s going on? A lot is apparent from the execution of a search warrant that names specific offences (and doesn’t name some others) and with certain seized items listed. What we don’t have (quite rightly) is a full picture (nor should we at this stage), nor do we know what will come of it. But let’s not pretend that no meaning can be confidently gleaned by what’s happened and what information has been released so far. The workings of this system aren’t particularly mysterious, they’re just kinda technical.
I won't believe anything being reported until the trial. The FBI has an extremely tarnished reputation of lying and falsifying documents to wire and destroy a political foe. The seem to have a penchant for zeroing in on Trump and using any means, illegal or not, to try take him down. What the FBI has said, done and recorded is totally suspect until it is verified by a trusted agency. You are discussing things as if they are a done deal. They are far from it. You can talk all of the legal mumbo jumbo you wish, much of it very informative. However, until we move into the nitty gritty, see what the evidence really is, see whether he broke the law or not. The FBI will have to prove themselves completely detached from the politics and that everything they are putting down is true and legal. They will never, for a long time, be able to shake the moniker of politically biased law enforcement that has shown clear penchant against Trump and falsified records in order to spy for Clinton, amongst all the other wrongdoing that has come from the department since Trump came down the escalator in Trump Tower. Sorry, I'm jaded.

But, the discussion is cool, like I said. Very informative general discussion.
 

Kirkhill

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Donald Trump - 55 per year
Joe Biden - 46
Obama - 35
Bush II - 36

Carter - 80
Kennedy - 75
FDR - 308
Wilson - 181
Teddy Roosevelt - 145

The problem seems to have arisen with the Progressive Era (Roosevelt initiated the Progressive Party)


#PresidentPartyTotal executive ordersOrder number rangeYears in officeExecutive orders per yearPeriod
1George WashingtonUnaffiliated8unnumbered7.951.0April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
2John AdamsFederalist1unnumbered40.3March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
3Thomas JeffersonDemocratic-Republican4unnumbered80.5March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1809
4James MadisonDemocratic-Republican1unnumbered80.1March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
5James MonroeDemocratic-Republican1unnumbered80.1March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
6John Quincy AdamsDemocratic-Republican3unnumbered40.8March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
7Andrew JacksonDemocratic12unnumbered81.5March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
8Martin Van BurenDemocratic10unnumbered42.5March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841
9William Henry HarrisonWhig0unnumbered0.080.0March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
10John TylerWhig17unnumbered3.924.3April 4, 1841 – March 4, 1845
11James K. PolkDemocratic18unnumbered44.5March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
12Zachary TaylorWhig5unnumbered1.343.7March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
13Millard FillmoreWhig12unnumbered2.664.5July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
14Franklin PierceDemocratic35unnumbered48.8March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
15James BuchananDemocratic16unnumbered44.0March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861
16Abraham LincolnRepublican48unnumbered4.1111.7March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
17Andrew JohnsonDemocratic79unnumbered3.8920.3April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
18Ulysses S. GrantRepublican217unnumbered827.1March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
19Rutherford B. HayesRepublican92unnumbered423.0March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
20James A. GarfieldRepublican6unnumbered0.5411.1March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
21Chester A. ArthurRepublican96unnumbered3.4627.7September 19, 1881 – March 4, 1885
22Grover Cleveland - IDemocratic113unnumbered428.3March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1889
23Benjamin HarrisonRepublican143unnumbered435.8March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
24Grover Cleveland - IIDemocratic140unnumbered435.0March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
25William McKinleyRepublican185unnumbered4.5340.9March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
26Theodore RooseveltRepublican1,0817.47144.7September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
27William Howard TaftRepublican7244181.0March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
28Woodrow WilsonDemocratic1,8038225.4March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921
29Warren G. HardingRepublican5222.41216.9March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
30Calvin CoolidgeRepublican1,2035.59215.2August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
31Herbert HooverRepublican9685075–60704242.0March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
32Franklin D. RooseveltDemocratic3,7286071–953712.11307.8March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
33Harry S. TrumanDemocratic9079538–104317.77116.7April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
34Dwight D. EisenhowerRepublican48410432–10913860.5January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
35John F. KennedyDemocratic21410914–111272.8475.4January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
36Lyndon B. JohnsonDemocratic32511128–114515.1662.9November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
37Richard NixonRepublican34611452–117975.5662.3January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
38Gerald FordRepublican16911798–119662.4569.1August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
39Jimmy CarterDemocratic32011967–12286480.0January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
40Ronald ReaganRepublican38112287–12667847.6January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
41George H. W. BushRepublican16612668–12833441.5January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
42Bill ClintonDemocratic36412834–13197845.5January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
43George W. BushRepublican29113198–13488836.4January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
44Barack ObamaDemocratic27613489–13764834.6January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
45Donald TrumpRepublican22013765–13984455.0January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021
46Joe BidenDemocratic9513985 and above1.5646.2January 20, 2021 – Present


Taking a look at that list it appears to me that the winner of the Autocracy Sweepstakes in the US, by a furlong, is the Champion of Democracy - Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

3728 Executive Orders (308 a year)

His nearest competitor was Woodrow Wilson, lagging 2000 orders behind with 1803 (225 a year)

The Donald seems to be about as autocratic as any of the other modern presidents.
 

Jarnhamar

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For sure. Makes one appreciate our system of government that much more, however far from perfect it may be.
In my opinion, no not at all.

Our leaders may be a little less melodramatic but in our system of OICs, shadow OICs,and national security stickers slapped on everything incriminating we're hardly beyond reproach.

Our own FBI are clearly succeptable to political interference.
 

Good2Golf

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Executive Orders are effective on utterance. They can be challenged and overturned but until that happens the Executive Order prevails.

The President has the authority to react instantaneously to the unforeseen.
Could find DJT’s “All these TS-SCI documents here at Mar-A-Lago are now unclassified!” Executive Order amongst his record of 220 Executive Orders. 🤷🏻‍♂️

 
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